Chairman’s Corner: The Military Retirement System

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 — In my first blog entry, I dis­cussed the four themes that are impor­tant to me as I start my tenure as the 18th Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among them I men­tion keep­ing faith with our Mil­i­tary Fam­i­ly. I was recent­ly remind­ed of the impor­tance of this when I tes­ti­fied before the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee with Sec­re­tary of Defense Panet­ta last week.

Dur­ing that tes­ti­mo­ny I was asked by sev­er­al Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to com­ment on the recent rec­om­men­da­tions of the Defense Busi­ness Board regard­ing chang­ing the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem to some­thing more like what is avail­able to civil­ians in the com­mer­cial sec­tor.

What I told them and what I want to reit­er­ate here is that I reject the com­par­i­son of mil­i­tary to civil­ian retire­ment and that I am adamant­ly opposed to chang­ing the retire­ment ben­e­fits for those who are cur­rent­ly on active duty. We will undoubt­ed­ly have to change our retire­ment sys­tem in the future to make it afford­able, but we have made a com­mit­ment to those cur­rent­ly serv­ing, and I aim to keep it.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)